Swicorp’s Intaj Capital Fund II is investing $12.7 million to take a minority stake in Venezia Ice, a Moroccan producer and distributor of artisanal gelato and pastry. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. The investment is part of the ice-cream manufacturer’s program to expand its domestic market share and accelerate its international expansion plans.
“Swicorp’s financial, intellectual and networking capabilities will contribute to consolidate our position and accelerate our international growth through the expansion of our catalogue of products intended for export as well as through a direct presence in a number of markets,” the company’s CEO Sghir Bougrine told the Moroccan daily L’Economiste.
The funds raised will be used to expand the firm’s production capacity, launch new product lines and expand its distribution network by opening 15 own-brand outlets across the country over the next 3 years. The company currently has 39 outlets, 15 of which are company-owned, and generates almost $6 million in sales.
“This investment reflects Swicorp’s aim to strengthen its activities in Morocco, which is now part of the group’s main target market in the MENA region for private equity activity,” said Nabil Triki, the head of Swicorp’s private equity business.
Swicorp which has operations in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and South Africa, has raised almost $1.5 billion since 2006 and has $1 billion in assets under management.
Ascent Capital Partners acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Venezia Group for this transaction.